TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The Jacksonville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has received an application for a Department of the Army permit pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. §1344) and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) as described below:
APPLICANT: Waterfront ICW Properties LLC
5455 Via Delray
Delray Beach, FL 33484
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with tidal wetlands and Spanish Creek off the Intracoastal Waterway. The project site is located at Property Control Number 46-43-45-22-00-005-0020 in Section 22, Township 45 South, Range 43 East, Ocean Ridge, Palm Beach County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From I-95 exit at Boynton Beach Boulevard and head east to S. Federal Highway and turn right. Take S. Federal Highway to E. Ocean Avenue and turn left. Take E. Ocean Avenue to N. Ocean Boulevard and turn left. Site is located on the left just north of Coconut Lane.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: To construct a residential development
Overall: To construct a residential development that has water access within eastern Palm Beach County.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The approximate 3.34-acre site consists of a 0.32 acre saltwater mangrove area and 3.09-acres open water tidal system with a muck and sand substrate. In addition to the applicant owned project site, the proposed access is located within an approximate 1.50-acre easement consisting mostly of saltwater mangroves. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of similar undeveloped saltwater mangrove community and tidal waters.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to place fill over approximately 0.88 acres of mangroves and 2.46 acres of open water (leaving a 0.24 acre/75-foot canal easement along eastern boundary of property for navigational channel) for the construction of a three-lot residential development. The applicant proposes to construct a new concrete seawall and riprap placement along the perimeter of the project boundary and fill behind.
AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION INFORMATION – The applicant has provided the following information in support of efforts to avoid and/or minimize impacts to the aquatic environment:
The project is to restore the original boundaries that have eroded over the years and add shoreline stabilization to prevent further shoaling and erosion of the area. The applicant has reduced the filling of waters of the US by 38%, reduced the allowed density from fourteen (14) unit to three (3), which is a 79% reduction. The mangrove impacts cannot be reduced as the access driveway was part of a court order providing access to the property. Additional requirements on the property that don’t allow for any further avoidance/minimization are as follows; site is severely restricted by the septic tank setback requirements which are 100’ in all directions from surface water. The applicant states that pursuant to Florida Statutes that septic tank requirements require 2000 square field of drain field per lot. Building pad requirement by the Town of Ocean Ridge is 35% of lot area or 15,246 square feet. Side setbacks are 15’, rear setbacks are 25’, front setbacks are 25’ and the Town of Ocean Ridge requires east side of property as being the front of lots.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
The applicant currently holds title to submerged lands located north of the Palm Beach Inlet immediately south of John D. Macarthur State Park and Munyon Island and within the proposed Singer Island Seagrass Sanctuary. The proposed mitigation plan is to transfer to the State, land located in Riviera Beach within the Lake Worth Lagoon for preservation. In order to offset the impact, the applicant proposes to place into conservation easement, 4.805 acres of this submerged land located adjacent to Munyon Island and John D. Macarthur State Park. In addition, the applicant is proposing is to purchase saltwater mitigation credits for the unavoidable impact to the access easement area through the purchase of saltwater mitigation credits at Everglades Mitigation Bank.
The activity is of such limited scope there is little likelihood of impact upon a historic property; therefore, the proposed project would have “No Potential to Cause Effect”.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the endangered and threatened swimming seaturtles (Chelonia mydas, Eretmochelys imbricata, Lepidochelys kempii, Dermochelys coriacea, Caretta caretta), the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) and the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) or its designated critical habitat. The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife/National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH): This notice initiates consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service on EFH as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 1996. The proposal would impact approximately 4.84 acres of forested mangrove habitat and sand/shell and muck substrate utilized by various life stages of penaeid shrimp complex, reef fish, stone crab, spiny lobster, migratory/pelagic fish, and snapper/grouper complex. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the South Atlantic Region. Our final determination relative to project impacts and the need for mitigation measures is subject to review by and coordination with the National Marine Fisheries Service.
NOTE: This public notice is being issued based on information furnished by the applicant. This information has not been verified or evaluated to ensure compliance with laws and regulation governing the regulatory program. The jurisdictional line has not been verified by Corps personnel.
AUTHORIZATION FROM OTHER AGENCIES: Water Quality Certification may be required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and/or one of the state Water Management Districts.
COMMENTS regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer through the Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410 within 30 days from the date of this notice.
The decision whether to issue or deny this permit application will be based on the information received from this public notice and the evaluation of the probable impact to the associated wetlands. This is based on an analysis of the applicant's avoidance and minimization efforts for the project, as well as the compensatory mitigation proposed.
QUESTIONS concerning this application should be directed to the project manager, Carolyn Farmer, in writing at the Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410; by electronic mail at Carolyn.firstname.lastname@example.org; by facsimile transmission at (561)626-6971; or, by telephone at (561)472-3527.
IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: Coordination with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Marine Fisheries Services, and other Federal, State, and local agencies, environmental groups, and concerned citizens generally yields pertinent environmental information that is instrumental in determining the impact the proposed action will have on the natural resources of the area.
EVALUATION: The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefits, which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the proposal, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors which may be relevant to the proposal will be considered including cumulative impacts thereof; among these are conservation, economics, esthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historical properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food, and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership, and in general, the needs and welfare of the people. Evaluation of the impact of the activity on the public interest will also include application of the guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, EPA, under authority of Section 404(b) of the Clean Water Act or the criteria established under authority of Section 102(a) of the Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972. A permit will be granted unless its issuance is found to be contrary to the public interest.
The US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is soliciting comments from the public; Federal, State, and local agencies and officials; Indian Tribes; and other Interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this proposed activity. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps to determine whether to issue, modify, condition, or deny a permit for this proposal. To make this determination, comments are used to assess impacts to endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.
COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT CONSISTENCY: In Florida, the State approval constitutes compliance with the approved Coastal Zone Management Plan. In Puerto Rico, a Coastal Zone Management Consistency Concurrence is required from the Puerto Rico Planning Board. In the Virgin Islands, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources permit constitutes compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Plan.
REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING: Any person may request a public hearing. The request must be submitted in writing to the District Engineer within the designated comment period of the notice and must state the specific reasons for requesting the public hearing.